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Medical Testing Laboratory Plans Statewide Expansion

A management group that has acquired the former Mayo Laboratory Network in Ventura expects to triple the statewide medical testing organization’s size by 1996, boosting its revenues to as much as $100 million annually.

Paul F. Beyer, chairman, president and chief executive of the firm, which has been renamed Medical Laboratory Network Inc., expects to grow by buying up other lab operators throughout the West and by adding to his own company’s services. “We have the pockets and we have the expertise” to pull off the anticipated expansion, Beyer said.

The group he heads took on some bank debt in October when it paid $25 million to buy the network from the Mayo Foundation, which controls the world-famed Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.. A New York venture capital concern, WestSphere Capital Associates L. P., was part of the purchasing group.

With eight laboratories and 35 patient centers throughout the state, Medical Laboratory now processes 1 million tests a year for California doctors and hospitals. Among other things, the tests evaluate patients’ cholesterol levels and screen them for drug usage and the HIV virus. “We’ve tripled in size since 1990, and I expect us to grow at about the same rate in the next three years,” Beyer declared. He said revenues were $10 million in 1990 and now total $25 million to $30 million.

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The company has 400 employees, most of them at its corporate headquarters and main laboratory on Palma Drive in Ventura. In the past year, 55 new workers have been hired, 40 of them in Ventura.

“Some parts of the health-care industry are hurting right now, but laboratories such as ours are doing quite well,” Beyer said. Prostate screening is one area Medical Laboratory may move into as part of its expansion drive, Beyer noted.


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